Finger Pad Topography beyond Fingerprints: Understanding the Heterogeneity Effect of Finger Topography for Human-Machine Interface Modeling. Academic Article uri icon


  • With the rapid development of haptic devices, there is an increasing demand to understand finger pad topography under different conditions, especially for investigation of the human-machine interface in surface haptic devices. An accurate description of finger pad topography across scales is essential for the study of the interfaces and could be used to predict the real area of contact and friction force, both of which correlate closely with human tactile perception. However, there has been limited work reporting the heterogeneous topography of finger pads across scales. In this work, we propose a detailed heterogeneous finger topography model based on the surface roughness power spectrum. The analysis showed a significant difference between the topography on ridges and valleys of the fingerprint and that the real contact area estimation could be different by a factor of 3. In addition, a spatial-spectral analysis method is developed to effectively compare topography response to different condition changes. This paper provides insights into finger topography for advanced human-machine interaction interfaces.

published proceedings

  • ACS Appl Mater Interfaces

author list (cited authors)

  • Choi, C., Ma, Y., Li, X., Ma, X., & Hipwell, M. C.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Choi, Changhyun||Ma, Yuan||Li, Xinyi||Ma, Xuezhi||Hipwell, M Cynthia

publication date

  • January 2021